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Old 03-31-2012, 05:16 PM   #196
Drunken Savior
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So when are we going to tell him that you're supposed to make your own review thread?

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The Last of Us Part 2, RE2 Remake, The Last Night

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Old 03-31-2012, 05:19 PM   #197
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In a bit.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:44 PM   #198
... lol
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Actually soon .. As DS might lose his 5* rating otherwise
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:45 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by Drunken Savior View Post
So when are we going to tell him that you're supposed to make your own review thread?
Oh. Haha. I'm sorry! I genuinely just assumed, with the size of this thread, it was just like the 'Last thing I bought' thread. Sorry, newb mistake. Should have read the first page.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:58 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by KingOfSentinels View Post
Oh hey, Mass Effect books. Nice review DS, I might look into snapping some of those up. The Mass Effect storyline isn't so great but the world and characters is what makes it awesome so I'd love to read some books set in that Universe. I'd love to see some more Saren stuff, was a great character, I agree with that. Thankyor
You'll probably like it then. Saren is in most of the second half of the book, but he's a big powerhouse player and he definitely rubs Anderson the wrong way with his "the end justifies the means" methods.

I've actually read the second one, but I'm mulling it over in my head for a bit longer before I type up the review.

Games I'm hyped for
The Last of Us Part 2, RE2 Remake, The Last Night

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Old 06-30-2012, 06:50 PM   #201
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who is ernest and why is he posting reviews in this thread?

but salo is quality cinema, i enjoy it very much. a touching film.
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:15 AM   #202
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Extremely romantic for sure.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:39 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Nindalf View Post
who is ernest and why is he posting reviews in this thread?
Maybe this is DS without the mask. Maybe this is him in real life, and maybe his real name is Ernest. But don't expect the Ernest we all grew up in our child hood from his classic movies, such as Ernest goes to Jail, or Ernest Scared Stupid. Picture him as a sophisticated Ernest.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:01 PM   #204
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Batman: Arkham Origins (PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U) Review

Released 10/25/2013 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U)

Deverloper: Warner Bros Montreal (singleplayer), Splash Damage (Multiplayer)
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Graphics: B+
Sound: B+
Story: A
Gameplay: A-

Overall Score:

Initially I didn’t plan on reviewing this, simply because at its core, Arkham Origins doesn’t really do anything to advance the gameplay found in Arkham City, the second game in the 'Batman: Arkham' franchise. It’s extremely iterative whereas Arkham City was certainly innovative. And if that’s a huge problem for you, then none of the positives or negatives here are going to sway you. Just watch a 'Let's Play' to get the story. But here’s my review on this game.

I’m also strictly reviewing the singleplayer. If I decide to review the multiplayer, then I’ll add something here.

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Are you ready to go back to Gotham City for an early Batman adventure?

The story acts are a prequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum, focusing on a young Bruce Wayne who has been Batman for around two years. Batman hasn’t met the Joker, or the Riddler, or much of the villains later found in Arkham Asylum and City. He’s pretty much used to smalltime crooks, corrupt cops and politicians, organized crime, and some of the lesser known characters from Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Apparently Bruce’s doing a damn good job as Batman because he’s putting a dent in the profits of organized crime. In response, Black Mask, a powerful figure in Gotham’s underworld, has put a $50 Million bounty on his head, causing a flood of talented assassins to come to Gotham. All of this happens on Christmas Eve. It's a storyline that's been done many, many times before.

A lot of the game focuses on Batman’s first encounter with his villains, including the Joker. The Gotham City Police Department is also out to get Batman, meaning the Police will be out to get Batman. Furthermore, Alfred does not fully approve of Bruce Wayne’s zealousness to fight crime.

I found this story to be highly enjoyable. It focuses moreso on Batman’s relationships to the GCPD, Alfred, and the Joker than either of the first two Arkham games. To both Batman and the Joker, their opposites aren’t anything special. To the Joker, Batman is just a guy in a costume. To Batman, Joker is just another thug. It isn’t until they actually meet and see how the other operates do they begin to realize how different they are from their peers. And really, that realization is one of the highlights of the entire game. Additionally, Capt. Jim Gordon is hellbent on capturing Batman, and Batman must prove to him that he’s not just a common vigilante. Batman has to prove that he’s both Gotham’s protector and works within a code that Gordon respects. However, this Batman lacks the patience and understanding his future self exhibits. In fact, he’s downright cruel, nasty, and mean to both his friends and villains at time.

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Some think he's real, some don't. Many wish he isn't...

The franchise's freeflow combat is back and...well...pretty much the same

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Troy Baker's Joker sounds a lot like Mark Hamill, but this Joker is much more sadistic, cruel and all around more evil in his younger years.

Off the bat, fans of Arkham City will notice that Arkham Origins reuses a lot of assets from Arkham City. The overall map consists of the original map from Arkham City (which makes sense, Arkaham City itself was just a walled off part of Gotham) connected via a large suspension bridge to another part of Gotham City of roughly equal size, if not slightly smaller. However, both are modified slightly to reflect winter and Christmas themes. There is also a fully explorable Batcave, plus you visit some new areas within both the old and new parts of Gotham, such as Blackgate Prison, which is currently the only place Gotham has to store criminals.

The animations, for the most part, also seem to be mostly from Arkham City. Batman does the same animations for beatdowns, disabling weapons, disarming goons, yeada yeada yeada. It would have been nice if Batman had some new animations for some of his moves to reflect his inexperience.

The lipsyncing is pretty bad due to the limited animation loops. It’s a step down from Arkham City. Does that really detract from the gameplay? No. But it just seems lazy, and it begs the question “If you’re reusing assets from an earlier game, why do you half ass the parts you are adding?” Whatever reason they have, it’s pretty inexcusable and really detracts from an otherwise gorgeous looking game. This is seen in the cut scenes and not during in-game discussions. You’ll notice it most when talking to Alfred.

Speaking of cut-scenes, they are partially pre-recorded video using the in-game engine. And they are encoded pretty poorly. I don’t know if it’s as noticeable on consoles, but it’s very evident on PC. Lots of artifacting, especially in the blacks and other dark colors…which you can imagine is a large portion of a game that takes place entirely at night. The cut-scenes themselves seem to be using the in-game engine, so why pre-record them? It’s just a bummer that screenshots of the really cool pre-recorded cutsceenes will never look as clean as in-game cutsceenes.

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Comparison between in-game graphics…and pre-recorded scenes using the same engine. Even with IMGUR’s compression, you can see how the background isn’t as well defined in the pre-recorded scenes. Additionally, you see a lot more artifacting (large, homogenous squares of color) in dark parts, noticeable mostly on Batman. These are more noticeable in fulls screen.

11 minute long video. It takes some time to get around in Gotham City. Here I start at the bottom of the map (the new half) and travel to the top (Arkham City half). I visit some old locations such as Sionis Industries (Joker's HQ in Arkham City) and the Courthouse (Where you rescue Catwoman in Arkham City).

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You'll be visiting a lot of recognizable locations found in Arkham City. The entire map of Arkham City is, for the most part, reused and consists of about 50% of the entire map.

But the reused assets are still very good and shows that the groundwork laid by original developer, Rocksteady, still holds up to today’s standards. The animation is very slick, which is crucial to the success of the ‘free flow combat system’ that is synonymous with the franchise, though Bats and thugs do ‘slide’ from time to time to make the timing work. I did see a few animation bugs while gliding through Gotham, making Batman look like he was trying to swim through Gotham’s skies, which occurred maybe four or five times in my 30 hours of gameplay. I also had Bane punch me off the map, causing me to clip through walls and into the open world underneath the map once. Dude’s fucking strong, I’m amazed my PC didn't just explode when it happened.

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Batman must prove to Gordon that he's a hero. These two forces must learn to work together if they plan on keeping Gotham safe.

Fan favorite Mark Hammil does not return as the Joker, and neither does equally loved Kevin Conroy to voice Batman. Their respective replacements, Troy Baker and Roger Craig Smith, feel like capable understudies. However, Baker’s Joker really outshines Smith’s Batman. Baker, on the surface, is doing a very good Hammil impersonation, but his Joker is less ‘appreciative’ of Batman than Hammil. And you can really sense a more venomous Joker in Baker’s voice alone. Smith’s Batman, on the other hand, does a good job at replicating Conroy, but doesn't reach the same level of success as Baker does, in my opinion.

The rest of the cast does a good job, but nothing really stands out this go around. However Robert Costanzo is in the game! Don’t know who that was? Shame on you. He was the voice of Detective Harvey Bullock in Batman the Animated Series, and he fills the doughnut loving detective’s shoes in this game.

The music hits the same notes as Arkham City. I wouldn't call it particularly memorable, but it doesn't take away anything from the game.

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Of course, the Joker shows up to ruin even the best plans.

Arkham Origins is very much Arkham City 2.0. You do similar tasks, and get around the map in the same manner, using your grapple to gain altitude and soaring through the city. When you’re not in the city, you’re beating up thugs using the free flow combat system that is virtually identical to Arkham City. You’ll also be hunting down thugs in Predator mode, swinging from gargoyle to gargoyle, waiting for that perfect moment to strike. Otherwise, you’ll be navigating 3D environments, using your grapple to ascend and cape to glide over expanses. All of it still feels very good as it did in Arkham City.

New to the franchise is fast travel, utilizing about 7 drop off points throughout the city and one at the Batcave. These drop off points are located in Gotham City Radio towers, which are controlled by the Riddler (given the name ‘Enigma’ by Batman) which can be unlocked through either a small 3D puzzle (navigate a 3D environment) or need items you collect throughout the game’s plot to unlock.)

You’ll get some new items in the game, though not all that extraordinary. Replacing the Mr. Freeze grenade from Arkham City is a Glue Grenade, which functions identically to the former. You’ll use it to block off steam pipe exhausts, temporarily incapacitate enemies, and create islands in water to stand upon. You also get a remote grapple, a twist on Arkham City’s Line launcher. You can use it to stun multiple enemies at a time, or create lines to prey upon your enemies from above in predator mode. Lastly, Batman eventually gets a set of electric gloves that make freeflow combat ridiculously easy. Once they are charged, every hit you lay is a hit, regardless if the enemy is armored or not. It removed a lot of the additionally difficulty of advanced freeflow combat mechanics found in the latter half of the game, for better or for worse.

There’s a new sidequest worth mentioning called ‘Casefiles.’ These detective stories range from epic stories involved in the main plot, to simple crimes found throughout Gotham. Batman hears about them through his Gotham City Police Department wiretap and can investigate them at will. By recreating the scene, Batman can discover the truth behind the mystery. It’s very cool and pretty interesting. However, with any mystery story, the amazement is only experienced once and successive playthroughs of the casefiles won’t really impress you the second time around in replays. In fact, they may be downright tedious going through all the motions just to find the hints. It would have been nicer if there were more stories, or if they varied between playthroughs. It’s a ‘good idea, bad implementation’ scenario where I’d like to see it done again, but with replayability involved in the design.

The boss fights, which were Arkham Asylums weakest feature, are a slight stepdown from Arkham City. There really aren’t many standout boss fights this time around. Furthermore, the boss fights all seem like variations of Arkham City bossfights. That’s not a bad thing, since Arkham City’s boss fights were, for the most part, very good.

Marial Artists add a new dimention to combat, if only slightly. You'll be tasked with keeping an eye on them at all times, and be ready to either double tap the counter button or remember to counter again immediately after.

Lastly, the game does throw some new tactics and techniques to the freeflow combat system, advancing it a little past Arkham City. You’ll face martial artists and ninjas, who require a chain of counters or a double-counter in order to successfully defend against them. Enemies seem more ready to attack Batman this time around, I found them more likely to attack in the middle of my non-special takedowns, forcing me to really manage the battle before trying to score a cheap takedown without being suckerpunched. The game also adds armored brutes, which require you to strip their armor off by performing a takedown.

Armored Thugs require you to use a special takedown to strip off their armor before you can bring them down.

Final Thoughts....
Arkham Origins is virtually a 15 hour campaign DLC for Arkham City. It doesn’t add much, but it’s a new map to explore, with a great new story. It lacks the advancement that Arkham City had over Arkham Asylum, but at it’s core, Arkham Origins is still a very good game. If you want more Arkham City, then you’ll really enjoy Arkham Origins. The developer, Warner Bros Montreal, doesn't reinvent the wheel, but for their first original game (the only other work is the Arkham City port for the Wii U), it's a great effort. It's a shame that this game gets low marks among some other reviews for being iterative instead of innovative, when other iterative games seemingly get a pass by the same reviewers. Does being iterative make a game inherently bad? I don't think so. And really, there isn't really anything in Arkham Origins that I can find that really make me think of this as a bad game.

One thing to note is that some PC users are stating that they are expericing some bugs in this game. I never ran into anything gamebreaking in my 30 hours of playtime, except for a radio tower in a side mission I had to glitch into to complete. But, regardless, I thought it warrants mentioning for PC gamers.

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Fun Drinking Game: Take a drink everytime Batman wants to know where he/it is. He's quite the inquisitive fellow!

Games I'm hyped for
The Last of Us Part 2, RE2 Remake, The Last Night

Current Platforms:
PC (Zen9 5950x, 64GB, RTX 3090), PS5
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:52 PM   #205
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^Totally not biased review.
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